LTE in China is taking off in a very big way.
According to new research from ABI, China gained almost 100 million LTE subscriptions in the first year of full LTE commercialization
China Mobile was the big winner, taking home almost 90 percent share of the total LTE market in China. The accelerating growth means China will overtake the United States in total LTE connections.
“Since the other two China mobile operators—China Unicom and China Telecom—were granted preferred FDD-LTE licenses in March 2015, it is expected that China will overtake the United States to become the largest 4G market in the world, accumulating 500 million LTE subscriptions, or 36.5% of the domestic cellular subscriptions in 2015,” noted Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research, in a statement.
Global LTE subscriptions increased by 149.1 million in the fourth quarter, which, for the first time, surpassed 3G subscriptions growth by 10.9 percent.
ABI concludes that LTE subscriptions will continue to cannibalize the 3G subscriber base, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21 percent between 2015 and 2020, to reach 3.5 billion. Asia-Pacific leads the global LTE subscriptions with 48.6 percent share, followed by North America and Western Europe.
Global 2G subscriptions will continue to fall through 2020 and stand at 1.69 billion.